New book: Homo numericus

Homo Numericus: ‘The Coming ‘Civilization’.
Daniel Cohen, Polity 2024.

As the industrial revolution did in the past, the digital revolution is creating a new economy and a new sensibility, bringing about a radical revaluation of society and its representations. From Amazon to Tinder, from Google to Deliveroo, there is no facet of human life that the digital revolution has not streamlined and dematerialized. Its objective was to reduce costs by forgoing face-to-face interactions, and it was a direct result of the free-market shock of the 1980s, which sought to expand the marketplace seamlessly in every possible dimension. While obsessed with the search for an efficient management of human relations, the new digital capitalism gives rise to an irrational and impulsive Homo numericus prone to an array of addictive behaviours and subjected to intensive forms of surveillance. But if we can avoid the pitfalls then the digital revolution also offers an exciting path, one that could lead to a world based neither on individualism nor on the hierarchical model of earlier civilizations.

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